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Bradstreet, Anne. "Before the Birth of One of Her Children".

Summary and Analysis

- a poem of one stanza of 28 lines

- melancholy, yet strikingly calm and composed in tone

- Bradstreet suffered from rheumatic fever and risked death by each childbirth

She observes that Death breaks all the worldly bonds and maybe her Dear (husband) will soon lose his friend (her). She bids him good bye in case God should untie the bond which ties them as one.

She recognizes she has many faults and if there is any worth or virtue in her, she asks her husband to remember the latter. His loss should be repaid by gains in their children for whose she asks him to bring no step-mother, if he loves himself and loved her.

If he finds the paper with this poem, she asks him to kiss it for her sake. She takes her last farewell with salt tears.


  • Author

    Bradstreet, Anne. (1612 - 1672).
  • Full Title

    "Before the Birth of One of Her Children".
  • First Published

  • Form


Works Cited

Bradstreet, Anne. "Before the Birth of One of Her Children". In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.


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